Best & Worst of 2010, Part 4

Best Singles of 2010 

from 5 – 1


5. Broken Bells – The Ghost Inside

Slinky, understated funk is the last place I expected James Mercer to flourish, but he’s never sounded better (or, dammit, cooler) than with the not inestimable assistance of Dangermouse here.  His pained falsetto neatly doubling up for both observer and subject, compromise and deep disappointment are evoked in spades. But, most importantly – those handclaps!

 

4. Alicia Keys – Empire State of Mind, Part II


Keys gives her much-mythologised hometown another anthem, albeit one that cops to the prospect of failure as much as the promise of success, and simultaneously gifts the world with one of the most lush, resplendent vocals in recent memory.

 

3. Cee-Lo Green – Fuck You!


There were many joyful, hilarious things about Cee-lo’s (second) breakthrough, aside from the song and video themselves: the initial confusion amongst many that Mr. Gnarls Barkley had apparently changed his name for some reason (‘This guy sounds like that guy who sang that crazy song!’, ad infinitum); the inventive/lazy censoring; the use of ‘fuck you’ as a noun; the X-Factor finalists doing this. Hell, this song even single-handedly restored humour and public fondness to Hollywood’s least-favourite aging starlet! Cee-lo Green is nothing short of a miracle worker. We should all bow before him.

 

2. Kylie Minogue – All the Lovers

A blissful, exultant dancefloor anthem tinged with emotional ambiguity. We’ve been here before with Kylie, sure, but if we’re to assume (with good reason; it’s certainly what she represents to her fans) that she’s motivated by a pursuit for something like purity – or, perhaps more accurately, transcendence -then All the Lovers is arguably the closest she’s come. I mean – shucks – in the gorgeous video, she’s the figurehead of a skyscraper constructed entirely out of interracial omnisexuality. Let’s all just take our clothes off and be friends!

 

1. Kanye West feat. Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj & Bon Iver – Monster

The single greatest thing to happen to music in 2010 was Nicki Minaj’s rip-roaring, bracingly dexterous contribution to this track. I don’t think a star has ever been so violently born, nor a show so emphatically stolen. To this day, having listened to it countless times, I am stunned into rewinding the last three minutes of the song every time. It’s almost enough to make you forget just how phenomenally engineered and replete with choice moments and turns of phrase the rest of the track is. And it’s still only my third favourite song on the album! (Unfortunately it’s difficult to find the seemingly excellent video in decent quality anywhere on the damn internet)

 

 

Some also-rans: Kelis – Acapella; Tinie Tempah – Pass Out; Marina and the Diamonds – Oh No!; Dark Dark Dark – Bright Bright Bright; Example – Kickstarts; Rihanna – Rude Boy; Scissor Sisters – Invisible Light; Patrick Wolf – Time of My Life; Nicole Sherzinger – Poison; Professor Green feat. Ed Drewett – I Need You Tonight; Hot Chip – One Life Stand; Arcade Fire – The Suburbs; Lady Gaga feat. Beyonce – Telephone

 

And with that, I’ll resume whatever it was I was supposed to be doing in the first place.

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4 Responses to “Best & Worst of 2010, Part 4”

  1. 1. The pictures of Kanye and Cee-lo are AMAZING.
    2. No fucking way is anything other than Monster better than Fuck you, and we both know this.
    3. What are your two other-favourites on beautiful dark twisted fantasy? I’m assuming Lost in the world, but is the other All of the lights?
    4. Have I told you about how much I enjoy All of the lights?
    5. I had no idea you liked Broken bells, have you got the album? I find it lacklustre with moments of awesome.

  2. 1. Aren’t they??
    2. I have a whole lotta love for All the Lovers (obviously). The top 3 engaged in a lengthy battle for the top spot, but Kylie was ALWAYS in the equation.
    3. Lost in the World, yes. And the other is indeed All of the Lights, although sometimes it’s Dark Fantasy, and other times it’s Power. But most of the time it’s All of the Lights.
    4. I don’t think you’ve ever mentioned it. Especially not at length and in a nigh-on incoherent blaze of excitement.
    5. I haven’t got the album, but I’ve listened to it. I wouldn’t say I find it ‘lacklustre’, so much as I find it the kind of excellent mood piece that doesn’t have much in the way of standout tracks (aside from the aforementioned). I think it’s beautifully put together, and I intend to buy it, but only time will tell how often I actually listen to it post-purchase.

  3. WHERE IS THE REST OF THE LIST???????????????

  4. Richard Says:

    You fucking half arse everything don’t you

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